Posted: Jun 28, 2012 8:52 PM by Mariel Seidman-Gati
Updated: Jun 28, 2012 9:54 PM
COLUMBIA - Dry weather conditions have not affected crops this severely since the late eighties, according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service. The current drought in Missouri has the U.S. Department of Agriculture concerned that if conditions don't improve, acres upon acres of corn and soy crops will fail.
Corn and soy have widespread uses ranging from animal feed to ethanol. Agriculture Statistician Bob Garino of the USDA said if large amounts of crops fail, farmers who use the crops as feed will have to pay more. "I think farmers will definitely feel the impact the most, most directly. It's going to affect the way they operate and decisions they make about operation, and their income will definitely be affected," said Garino. However, this will have a trickle down effect and force prices up for consumers. These price increases will appear on pork and beef products, among many others.
Garino said corn prices increased by around 30 percent during the drought of 1988 and he believes this could be a reality today. "If we have a decreased production in the United States, especially now that we have tight supplies and high prices, it's going to affect the whole world in terms of food supply," said Garino.